Newt embryonic myocardial cells can undergo mitosis in culture. The successive changes in the striation pattern of sarcomeres of myofibrils during mitosis were studied by polarization microscopy without fixing or killing the cells. Birefringence of well-organized striation patterns, i.e., bright A-bands and dark I-bands, was clearly visible in interphase cells and did not show any detectable changes during incubation for 3 h or more. Electron microscopy showed the presence of well-organized myofibrils with Z-bands in these interphase cells. When myocardial cells entered the mitotic stage, the birefringence of striation pattern of their myofibrils gradually changed with the pattern in small parts of the myofibrils gradually becoming indistinct (called 'indistinct striation' in this paper). These indistinct regions increased in size during the mitotic stage. In addition, in some regions of the indistinct striation, the birefringence of sarcomeres gradually decreased and finally disappeared (called 'disappearance of sarcomeres' in this paper). No myocardial cells underwent mitosis without these disruptive changes of the myofibril striation patterns. In the post-mitotic stage, the well-organized striation of the myofibrils reappeared. Electron microscopy showed disorganized sarcomeres without Z-bands in the regions of indistinct striation, and no well-organized myofibrils in the regions where the sarcomeres had disappeared. Thus the well-organized myofibrils with Z-bands became transiently disorganized at least in some parts, during mitosis. They were then reorganized into daughter myocardial cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas